The Raptors suffered their ninth loss in ten games last night in San Antonio, and frustration is starting to show in the locker room. After last night's game, Kyle Lowry had a very blunt assessment of where the team is at right now:
Lowry: "It's nine [losses] out of 10. F---. We need to play. We don't need no kick in the ass. We've literally been getting our ass kicked"— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 11, 2015
Now, no excuses for how poorly the Raptors have been playing, and really it's been this way since January. An optimist might say that we're still on track to have home court advantage in the first round (although note even if we win the Atlantic Division -- which we will -- the Wizards or Bucks would still have home court in a round one matchup if they finish with a better record than us) and there's still a chance to win a round in these playoffs. Although right now, it's kind of hard to imagine this Raptors team being good enough to do so.
But, this is the bottom, and not saying that any team needs to lose nine out of ten to develop some character and grow in the long term, but the best thing coming out of this stretch would be removing any complacency for the Raptors, or thinking that they were as great as their record indicated earlier this season. The Raptors are now out of the conversation as a dark horse contender in the East, and while their play is a huge reason for that, the Hawks and Cavs have played so well that they've created that separation in the Conference anyways.
Strangely, Toronto might be in a better spot to have those unrealistic expectations removed, and focus on shorter term goals which are attainable, finishing the season strong, and positioning themselves to get to the second round.
All of this is still within reach. The losing is not fun, but it's not impossible for this team to turn it around in the interim. To be continued.
What does everyone think?